Wiltshire Publications

Local residents say ‘No’ to Hawkeridge development

ABOUT 80 residents joined the Hawkeridge Action Group meeting on 15th April to discuss the planning application submitted to develop a 35-acre greenfield site, at Mill Lane, Hawkeridge.

Elizabeth Le Galloudec, spokesperson for the group said, “The meeting was to raise public support and let everyone know what they can do if they don’t want the development to go ahead.

“Residents can put their views across at www.hawkeridge.org/object.html. This process will end on 2nd May and after that, there will be a decision from the council.

“Everyone at the meeting was really supportive of the Hawkeridge Action Group  and opposed to the Hawkeridge development.

“The proposed development is on a greenfield site that surrounds Mill Lane, and is adjacent to the village of Hawkeridge, Westbury. This proposed development is part of the Draft Core Strategy for Wiltshire, which is yet to be adopted.

“Hawkeridge Action Group (HAG) are local residents of the area who will be directly affected by this speculative development. Some of them live right in the middle of the proposed development, some live backing onto it and some live alongside the roads that will be affected by it. They have united in their opposition to fight this plan and preserve the landscape and environment.

“Recently, the developers have submitted an outline planning application for the industrial estate and full planning application for a foul and surface drainage pumping station, which will also be on the site. We believe that this is somewhat confrontational to the local residents, in addition to being presumptive of the core strategy’s acceptance by the Planning Inspector.

“Hawkeridge Action Group still believe that this proposed development is wholly unrequired, as there is a multitude of development land available within a three-mile radius, which is ready to go, with the infrastructure required by a large-scale development already in place.

“One of the essential elements of any development should – according to the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) – be sustainability, i.e. proposed sites should be easy to access by foot, bicycle and via public transport. The proposed development at Mill Lane does not fulfil any of these requirements – there are no footpaths along the B3097, the main road used to access Mill Lane, and also no street lighting, making the road dangerous to walkers and cyclists in the dark winter months.

“Furthermore, there is only one bus route that passes Mill Lane, with only two busses an hour. The members of the Hawkeridge Action Group believe that these factors will lead to a massive increase in traffic on the already overloaded B3097, not to mention the other arterial roads and roundabouts that feed into/onto the B3907.

“This area is frequently under water for a number of weeks each year, and would be impassable if it was the footpath. Also they are proposing to remove the historical medieval hedgerows, which the council has maintained should be preserved.

“Additionally, the developer also does not address any issues about the residents of Mill Lane or of Hawkeridge village, and the council again are being very silent to the residents’ needs. All of the residents of Mill Lane, in addition to a large number of homes on the south side of Hawkeridge village will have their residential amenity adversely affected by the proposed development, not least by the proposed scale and size – with buildings up to 15 metres, most, if not all, will be overshadowed, will lose privacy and will be affected by light, noise and air pollution.

“Moreover, one of the homes at the centre of the proposed development site is Grade II listed and very little mitigation is being taken by the developer to protect the environment where the building sits, which is also an obligation of the council. The planting of a few trees does little to protect an historical asset for future generations.

“Furthermore, Hawkeridge Action Group is concerned that the council may not consider the application under its current policies and grant permission accordingly. This appears to have happened with the new housing development in Westbury, again on green fields, and outside of the current town boundary.

“Hawkeridge Action Group would like to encourage everyone to lodge a comment to object to these planning applications.”

Find out more at www.hawkeridge.org